Stark College & Seminary is proud to announce the board of trustees awarded Dr. Tony Celelli, President, a well deserved 10-week sabbatical in honor of his 15 year anniversary at SCS. Dr. Celelli greatly appreciates this significant gift and requests everyone’s prayers as he spends quality time resting, recharging and refocusing. While on sabbatical, Dr. Celelli invited President Emeritus, Dr. B. Linn Self, to serve and lead Stark as Interim President. 


Dr. Self is no stranger to Stark College & Seminary and it’s mission to equip educationally under-served followers of Christ for service in the church and community. Dr. Self formerly served as President at SCS for 10 years before retiring in 2005 when Dr. Celelli took the helm. His tenure at SCS forever changed the direction of the institution. Dr. Self was the one who envisioned having a graduate program and a Rio Grande valley presence and worked tirelessly to ensure those who had a call to seminary could attend. His leadership impact at SCS is invaluable. Since then, Dr. Self has remained connected with SCS by serving on and off over the years on its board of trustees.


In regards to his short term assignment, Dr. Self says, “I am proud to be part of a Christian organization that appreciates the importance of encouraging leadership to take care of themselves by providing time away for replenishment. I’m honored to make a small contribution to this very appropriate action. I have only been ‘back in the saddle’ for one week but I can already see that SCS staff are as sharp and eager as ever. I’m excited about working with them for a season. In the next few weeks, I expect to be just as impressed with our students. It is a thrill for me to view our work close up and rediscover how much I love this institution!”


Prior to coming to SCS, Dr. Self pastored four churches over a 32 year period and then served as interim pastor at seven churches after his retirement from SCS. During those years, Linn and his wife Betty mentored, counseled and encouraged students, pastors, lay leaders and members of 13 churches. It’s likely that Linn has written and preached over 4,000 sermons! All in all, Dr. Self has spent over 58 years loving and leading God’s people. Only God knows how much Dr. Self’s ministry impact has made on thousands of people, hundreds of ministers, and 13 churches! 


It is no wonder that the board of trustees has honored the Self’s legacy of service. In 2007 the board established an endowment and the annual Rev. Linn and Betty Self Bible Symposium. The symposium provides an opportunity for students, pastors, and leaders throughout South Texas to receive training by notable biblical scholars and clinicians. Additionally, in May of 2019 the trustees conferred Rev. B. Linn Self with an honorary doctorate. 


Stark is extremely grateful to have Dr. Linn Self join the SCS leadership team for these few months.